I've always been a fan of fresh basil pesto made from scratch rather than from a jar. It's actually quite simple to make and tastes so much better!
Basil can be used in so many ways and in so many dishes and it adds an amazing punch of flavor by using just a small amount.
I love to use pesto on pasta and as a seasoning for chicken. I find that it's especially fantastic mixed with a bit of tomato and used as a pizza sauce.
The process for making pesto is quite simple – it's basically just a matter of putting everything in the food processor and pulsing on LOW until everything is combined.
A couple things to remember when making basil pesto:
- It's important that you use fresh high quality ingredients for this recipe. Good quality olive oil and good quality Parmesan cheese will make a world of difference when making pesto.
- When processing add the olive oil LAST and do it SLOW. There is a chance that if you process the pesto too vigorously the oil will emulsify and create a slight bitter taste. Not to worry though – this can be fixed if it happens! You just have to add a little more salt and lemon juice to counteract this! It's only happened to me a few times so no worries.
There's a very special recipe that I created which uses pesto and I'll be sharing it this week as well!
All I can say is that we gobbled it all up and was gone in very little time! Stay tuned! (Update: Here's the special Recipe!)
Until then you can find my recipe for fresh basil pesto below. 🙂Print
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves, removed from stems
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2–3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (try to use high quality fresh cheese rather than the stuff in the shaker)
- 1/4 tsp salt + some on hand to adjust taste
- pinch of ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Splash of lemon juice
- Into a food processor place all ingredients except for the oil.
- Pulse ingredients on low until everything is starting to get the proper consistency.
- Now, slowly pour in the olive oil. It's important that this is down slowly since olive oil can become bitter and emulsify if processed too quickly.
- Once processed remove from the processor and put into a storage container such as a jar.
- Add a splash of lemon juice and stir.
- Do a taste test and add a little more salt and pepper if needed.
- This should keep in the fridge for about a week but you can also put it in the freezer and it should be good for a couple months.
Make sure that you taste test your pesto. Sometimes depending on the leaves used there can be a slight bitter taste. Also if olive oil is processed too vigorously it can also lend to a slight bitterness. You can fix this by adding a bit more salt and lemon juice.